PANEL – Conspiracy Theories Against and Within Religions
Convenor: prof. Silvia Cristofori
June 23, 2023 St. Andrews, Scotland, UK.
The panel presents the first results of the “Jean Monnet module” FreeBeRI (Freedom of Belief and Right to Information), funded by the European Union, which combines research, teaching and third-mission actions on the relationship between freedom of religion and freedom of information. Furthermore, FreeBeRI promotes the critical tools of “the historian’s craft” for recognizing, understanding, and fighting conspiracy theories. In particular, the panel focuses on conspiracy theories formulated against and/or within religions that, by feeding hate speeches, severely threaten democratic processes in Europe and beyond.
The interdisciplinary team of FreeBeRI welcomes contributions on the following non-exhaustive list of topics:
- conspiracy theories, religions and hate speeches (past and present case studies are both welcomed);
- hate speeches and conspiracy theories against and within religions in the history of Europe;
- historical connections and discontinuities between “old” and new conspiracy theories propagated through digital communication and social media;
- historical-critical method as a weapon against conspiracy theories and hate speeches;
- public history and conspiracy theories in the field of religious studies;
- conspiracy theories as a severe threat to EU democratic processes;
- EU policies on misinformation and disinformation as a severe threat to freedom of information and/or religion;
- EU International relations and post-truth politics.